Teacup Cakes



Another in the theme of energy-saving recipes, I have for you here a small treat that can hopefully bring a little joy in these challenging times.

It is an adaptation of a recipe from the 1940s and whilst this version is chocolate, it can also be adapted to other flavours with just a couple of tweaks.

Mug cakes have been around for quite a while, but I’ve made this version into a cup cake kit, which can be kept in the cupboard and easily mixed together in seconds, at a moments notice. It makes a dainty quantity, but one which can be doubled and cooked in a large mug if necessary. Bonus: it’s both vegetarian and vegan, and cooks in just one minute. No rushing out to the shop for a missing ingredient, no messy kitchen full of dirtied bowls and utensils, no roaring hot oven munching through those increasingly expensive kilowatt-hours. Fancy a treat? Mix it, cook it, eat it. Nom.

It’s best eaten warm, with a blob of something – nutella, cream, ice-cream, caramel sauce, etc.

Added bonus in this house: the cup can warm up your teen’s cold hands after a long day in a school that switched the heating on when Ofsted visited last month, and then switched it off when they left.

*awkward silence*


Shout out to the lovely and talented Clare Haley (go buy her paintings, they’re amazing!) who helped test and feedback on the recipe.

Tea Cup Cakes

You can, of course, use a mug rather than a tea cup. You can also double the recipe, but make it a large mug, otherwise there might be overflowage. Also, a double recipe takes just 90 seconds to cook.

Makes enough mixture for 10 teacup cakes.

Dry Mix
180g plain flour
200g sugar (caster/soft light or dark brown)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
60g cocoa powder

  • Sieve/sift all the ingredients together a couple of times to mix thoroughly.
  • Store in a jar. No need to refrigerate.

Wet Mix
80ml oil
20ml/4tsp vinegar
250ml water (or coffee)
1tsp vanilla (optional)

  • Put all wet ingredients in a tall container.
  • Place a stick blender into the container and mix, slowly at first, until thoroughly combined. For a more detailed explanation, see the method used for Vegan Ranch Dressing.
  • Pour mixture into a jar/bottle. No need to refrigerate.

To Make A Teacup Cake

You will need:
Dry mix
Wet mix

  • Use a small cup or mug.
  • Shake the bottle/jar of wet mix vigorously to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Pour in 35g of the wet mix. I put the cup on my digital scales and zero the scales beforehand. Otherwise, its 2 tablespoons and one teaspoon of the wex mixture.
  • Add 45g of the dry mix and quickly stir together. NB Emphasis on the quickly here. As soon as the (acidic) liquid is mixed in, the (alkaline) bicarbonate of soda will start to react and produce the bubbles that will make your cake light and fluffy. Any delay is going to run the risk of making your cake heavy.
  • Microwave for 1 minute on full power.
  • Wait 1 minute. The cup will be really hot and the cake too, so literally give it a minute to calm down.
  • Add a blob of something (optional).
  • Consume with a spoon.


Here are a few suggestions. You don’t have to do them all, just pick one (or two).

  • Omit the cocoa and increase the flour by 60g to make a vanilla cake.
  • Stir in a teaspoon of chocolate/fudge/butterscotch/toffee pieces before microwaving. Or a few small berries.
  • Flavour the wet mixture. Use coffee, or ovaltine for a malty flavour. Or use a teaspoon of almond/lemon/orange or whatever food flavourings you have to hand.
  • Colour the wet mixture with food colouring for added eye appeal.